Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fugitive Thong Sarath arrested in Vietnam

Fugitive Thong Sarath arrested in Vietnam

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A screenshot pictures tycoon Thong Sarath pleading to Prime Minister Hun Sen to re-investigate the murder case against him. FACEBOOK

Fugitive Thong Sarath arrested in Vietnam

Fugitive tycoon and murder suspect Thong Sarath was arrested in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday night.

The real estate developer and okhna, the prime suspect in the November 22 murder of Shimmex Group chairman Ung Meng Cheu, was arrested by Ministry of Interior Internal Security police acting in conjunction with Vietnamese authorities, police said.

“He was arrested in accordance with the court’s warrant for his arrest, and was arrested by our Ministry of Interior’s Internal Security Police forces in collaboration with Vietnamese police in Vietnam on Thursday night,” Internal Security chief Major General Seang Sen told the Post on Friday morning.

“After his arrest, he was sent for overnight questioning at the Ministry of Interior, and he now has been transferred to Phnom Penh Municipal Police headquarters, where they are preparing documents to send him to court,” he added.

Colonel Eng Sorphea, chief of the Serious Penal Police Unit in Phnom Penh Municipal Police, confirmed that Thong Sarath was still being detained at Phnom Penh Municipal Police Headquarter in Phnom Penh.

“He now was still being questioned by municipal serious penal police. We will send him soon to Phnom Penh Municipal Court after completing of his questioning,” he said.

In the aftermath of the Meng Cheu shooting, Sarath was quickly accused of masterminding what appeared to be a gangland-style hit on his business rival.

Five of Sarath’s bodyguards were arrested in the ensuing days, which featured a bizarre press conference in which Sarath’s parents, Keo Sary and Tan Sok, boasted that they told their son “to escape”.

Sarath himself released a series of videos from hiding in which he appealed to Prime Minister Hun Sen to intervene on his behalf.

Sary and Sok were later arrested and face illegal weapons charges stemming from a police raid that uncovered a number of guns at property owned by the family.

The couple were subsequently granted bail – an act that led to the removal of then-Phnom Penh Municipal Court president Ang Maltey from his position – only to be caught near the Vietnamese border in an alleged attempt to flee.

The couple at the time claimed they were simply going for one of Sary’s routine medical checkups.

Charged with premeditated murder, Thong Sarath faces a potential life sentence if found guilty.

Neither Sarath nor his lawyers could be reached for comment on Friday.

MOST VIEWED

  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the

  • Mother, daughter killed in hotel fire

    The bodies of a mother and daughter were found locked in an embrace after they were killed in a hotel fire in Phnom Penh at around 3:30am on Wednesday at the Phkar Chhouk Tep 2 Hotel and Restaurant in Phsar Doeum Kor commune, in the capital’

  • EBA withdrawal a destruction of EU achievements, PM says

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the EU’s possible suspension of its Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement amounted to a destruction of its achievements in the Kingdom and the demise of the opposition group. Hun Sen made the remarks while addressing more than 6,700 students during

  • US told to refrain from interfering in Sokha case

    Senior Cambodian officials said on Thursday that the US can monitor Kem Sokha’s trial as it wishes but would not be allowed to interfere in court procedures. The point was made in response to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s comments on Wednesday

  • Europe expected to consider EBA efforts, impact

    The government said it expects the European Commission to consider its efforts to comply with the “Everything But Arms” (EBA) regulations and the impact on one million workers should access to the agreement be suspended in February. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

  • Sri Lanka’s LOLC Holdings plans to sell Cambodian unit

    LOLC Holdings Plc, Sri Lanka’s second-largest publicly traded company by revenue, plans to sell its 70 per cent stake in Prasac Microfinance Institution Ltd, which also counts Hong Kong’s Bank of East Asia Ltd. as a shareholder, LOLC deputy chairman Ishara Nanayakkara said. Nanayakkara